Despite the fact that all humans are very different, we each have the same basic physiological needs. If any of these needs go unmet, you will experience cognitive dissonance in the current situation and ultimately with yourself. Because unmet physical needs can have such a strong impact on your behavior and your outlook on life it is of the utmost importance that you are attentive and responsive to the things your body needs the most.
In his model of self-actualization, Abraham Maslow stated that until the most basic physiological needs have been met, human beings cannot focus on fulfilling their other higher level needs, such as security, love, self-esteem and ultimately durable fulfillment and self-actualization. It's fairly obvious that the absolute most essential needs like air and water come first and if deprived of them you would do anything within your power to fill those needs. Of course, the needs that we sometimes neglect and the needs that end up monopolizing our time and resources aren't always as easy to see or feel as are water and air.
Human beings have many physiological needs including, the need for proper sleep, the need for sex, the need for food, and a need to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis (in this context) is the human body's drive to maintain a constant, normalized state in the blood stream. In order to maintain homeostasis our bodies regulate water content, salt content, fat content, sugar content, pH levels, and temperature of the blood as well as many other micro nutrients and chemicals. Simply put, if your body lacks or has a surplus of any one of a thousand different chemicals it will devote massive amounts of time and energy to correct the problem and maintain homeostasis.
In this modern world it is so terribly easy to forget the things we need the most. Just about anybody that is highly motivated and has a busy schedule will fail to get enough proper sleep and more than likely neglects their sex life, their waste line, and of course feeding the body with high quality nutrition is so often out of the question. For a person practicing self-improvement and pursuing self-actualization it is important to take some time to learn about physiological needs because when any of one of them is unmet, your brain will be dominated by the urge to fill whatever it is you lack. Often times, unsatisfied sleep and nutritional needs are the culprit behind so many of our bad habits and negative traits. Have you ever wondered why you have a hard time staying awake or paying attention in the middle of the afternoon? Have you ever wondered why it is so incredibly frustrating to stick with a diet or maintain an exercise regimen? Have you ever gotten angry with yourself because you simply lacked the will power to perform a task that you had previously promised yourself you would do?
You see, when you're not fulfilling your physiological needs, both your body and your brain are much less apt to pursue things outside of those needs. When the body is deprived of quality sleep, it will shut down your ability think rationally and logically in order to preserve energy. Irregular blood sugar levels will cause a whole host of problems such as gaining weight, a critical loss of will power, and intense food cravings. Even slight dehydration can have major impacts on your appetite and your mental resolve. An almost certain way to undermine your best intentions, miss a deadline, or come short of a goal is to deprive yourself of something that is necessary for good health and well-being. Quite simply, when you have an unmet physiological need, all of your goals, aspirations, and higher level desires are pushed aside and eventually forgotten. So, take some time to examine your health and your body. Learn about the small things that you can do in order to function optimally, feel better, and achieve your goals!